In February last year I put forward a successful Lib Dem Council motion to see 20mph limits introduced on all of Manchester's non-major residential roads. I am delighted that this week the Council's Executive Committee has committed £500,000 of public health money to see this policy rolled out in three areas: parts of Hulme, Moss Side and Fallowfied, Miles Platting & Newton Heath and parts of Ancoats and Clayton, and Gorton North and South. Sadly Chorlton will not be included in this first rollout as the Council is focusing on areas of high deprivation and accidents where 20mph have been proven to be most effective.
This is a really good first step and will save lives and make our roads more useable for everyone. I'm pleased the Council is using the increased Public Health money the Government has given to Manchester to make this possible. Many communities are going to benefit from this first stage but we need to roll it out citywide so that ALL Mancunians can benefit! The Council shouldn't be playing a postcode lottery with road safety as this has a huge impact on people's lives. The Government is fully behind this initiative; Lib Dem Transport Minister Norman Baker MP has and is continuing to make it easier to introduce 20mph limits.
20mph limits work best where there is community ownership and establishment endorsement. This requires extensive community engagement and public education not just traffic calming. Where this is done well schemes are self-enforcing. I'm pleased that the Executive recognised this point but it is really important that we ensure the Council do this properly and citywide. My colleague Cllr Mary Di Mauro who spoke at the Executive suggested the Council should explore the option of putting 20mph stick-on-signs on wheelie bins as a way of repeating the limit and giving people ownership of Twenty's Plenty. I think this is a really good suggestion and there's potential to have these stickers sponsored which could cover the cost and even raise funds to roll 20mph limits out further.
A great first step but we must keep up the pressure to see 20mph limits on Chorlton's and the rest of Manchester's residential roads!
Councillor Victor Chamberlain is the Liberal Democrat Councillor for Chorlton.
His blog can be found here: http://victorchamberlain.blogspot.co.uk/